Oldham Athletic Football Club is supporting a family of fans who are walking 170 miles from Oldham to Bristol in memory of a three-year-old girl who tragically died of cancer.Molly-Ann Smith lost her battle with a rare cancer, neuroblastoma, on Christmas Day, 2005. To mark the 10th anniversary of her death, members of her family will take on the challenging walk in a bid to raise awareness and money for two charities.
The 14 walkers will set off from The Royal Oldham Hospital on January 6 and walk for 17 hours a day to reach Bristol Children’s Hospital, where Molly had most of her treatment. They are aiming to arrive on January 9 - which would have been her birthday.
The money raised will go to children’s cancer charity CLIC Sargent, which provides support, and Hugs for Henry — a charity set up by parents of a neuroblastoma sufferer to help others in the same situation.
Molly’s cousin Ryan Grady (28) said: “We all wanted to do something to mark the anniversary of her death and help those who helped her. We’re hoping to raise £10,000 — £1,000 for each year.
“She had been very ill for a while but on Christmas day she opened her eyes, smiled and was able to open her presents before she died that afternoon. It was incredibly sad and the family were devastated.”
Family member, Gerry Grady from Royton, added: “It is fantastic to see the football club supporting our challenge; it just goes to show how much Oldham Athletic is a family-orientated club.
“We would like to thank everyone at the club and the Community Trust for their continued support during the build up to the walk.”
The 14 family members are guests of the club on January 2 as David Dunn’s side take on Colchester United.
You can donate online via the Just Giving page with their target set for £10,000.